July 10, 2007 Subject:
A Day in Mexico City
The 1940s documentaries from Latin and South America belong to my many favourites in the Prelinger Archive. Now another one is available - "The Day is New", depicting a day in Mexico City during the years of WW2. It's produced by the Mexican director Aqustin P. Delgado for Alfa and has a commentary by Sheldon Dick. I can't find this movie in IMDb, but the details for Delgado list many Mexican films, and mention that he was an assisting cameraman when filming "Forgotten Village" (1941 - a great feature film available on this site). Someone else may analyze how the "Good Neighbor"-policy of the Roosevelt era is expressed in this movie, or similar movies by Julien Bryan and others. As for me, I recognize the same focus on everyday life, social issues, tradition and modernity rather than ethnicity. This film starts with women cleaning streets in the morning. Later on we see construction used as a metaphor for modernity, the new day - like in every country of the world those days, and in lots of contemporary European films - for example some of the British Public Information Films on this site.